Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Americans losing religion

[Revised and updated on 3/11]

I think that I benefited from my upbringing in the Methodist Church, a progressive (at its inception, at least) off-shoot of the Church of England. My great-great grandfather was a (educated) minister in the Methodist Church (which Hillary Clinton also belongs to, by the way). In the local church in which I grew up, the minister had a doctorate in divinity and was addressed as "doctor." (Nowadays, it seems, anybody can call himself or herself a minister of some religion--but then, look at "Elmer Ganrty.")

Maybe as a gay person who has been discriminated against in my employment (in the past) and vilified by society in general for being gay, I no longer place much stock in organized religion, with its focus nowadays on how society should treat gays. The message of Jesus, if you will, has been shanghaied by people of ill will (and against Jesus' own teachings).

But maybe the whole landscape is changing, as this video suggests.

I have to add that there was never any hatred or discrimination taught in my religious upbringing (for example, against gay people--who were, it should be said, mainly in the closet at the time--or people of other religions or races). It was all about charity, loving your fellow man, and acceptance (just as Jesus embraced lepers, et al.).

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